Impact Projects 2014-15

Impact Projects 2014-15

CRISIS – Critical Infrastructure Incident Simulator

Dr. K.P. ChowPrincipal Investigator: Dr. K.P. Chow ( Department of Computer Science )
Telephone: 2859-2191

Project Objectives:

The main objective of the proposed project is to strengthen the security and resilience of a region’s critical infrastructure against cyber attack, through the collaborative and integrated efforts of the critical infrastructure community. To achieve this objective, there are several goals:

  • To collect, access and analyze threats to a critical infrastructure from the critical infrastructure community;
  • To study and readiness and reactive capability of critical infrastructure community when they were under cyber attacks;
  • To build a critical infrastructure simulator as platform for drill exercises;
  • To promote learning and adaption during and after simulation drill exercises;
  • To share information across the critical infrastructure community so as to build awareness and enable risk-informed decision making.

Project Description:

The proposed project aims to help strengthen the responsiveness of the region's critical infrastructure community against cyber attack (particularly malware attack) through simulation drill exercises and knowledge sharing.

Target Deliverables in 2014/15:

  1. Prototype - Critical infrastructure simulator and malware that attack the PLCs
  2. Document - Procedures for executing a drill
  3. Document - Drill report and recommendations to the key local internet stakeholder involved

Robotics in daily life

Prof. Francis Y.L. Chin Principal Investigator: Prof. Francis Y.L. ChinDepartment of Computer Science )
Telephone: 2859-2178

Project Objectives:

The development of robotics has entered into a new phase. Powered by low-cost silicon chips, digital sensors, high-bandwidth communications and sharing of cross-platform standards, robots are no longer confined in warehouses or automobile assembly lines as what we think in the past 30 years. They can be put to use in daily-life occasions like:

  • hospitals (e.g. TUG for delivering drugs and supplies);
  • aged homes (a baby seal called Paro responding to human voice and strokes);
  • operation theatres (e.g. Robotic Interactive Orthopaedic (Rio) System acquired by the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital for partial knee replacement);
  • prosthetic limb system (e.g. Deka Arm developed by DARPA);
  • deliver mails to remote areas using drones (by Amazon);
  • taking aerial photos, performing surveillance, monitoring traffic and fire, applying pesticide on vast landscape (by drones);
  • relaying internet access (by high-altitude drones acquired by Facebook);
  • self-driving cars (developed by Tesla).

This mega-trend has already made its impact in the economy of the developing world and quietly revolutionized our customer market. It has also caught wide media coverage, e.g. local TV station recently interviewed HKU on our robotics initiative whereas The Economist magazine has featured a 14-page story subsequent to the acquisition of 8 robotics companies by Google.

The new wave of robotics has aroused not only public interests but also concern on privacy, safety and threats to human existence. Mass media does play a role in introducing the new trend but shed little light on knowledge and balanced views. We therefore see the need to offer more in laymen terms on robotics for the public.

Project Description:

To provide most updated information to the community on robotics development and daily applications via briefing, training, news broadcast, educational materials, exhibitions, technical tours, etc.

Target Deliverables in 2014/15:

  1. A feature stories and videos on robotics applications (by show-casing key faculty members and their research work in laymen-terms);
  2. Participation in 2 to 3 exhibitions and conferences which promote the subject to the public;
  3. 10,000 copies of pamphlets, booklets and promotional materials that support the project;
  4. A bilingual website to disseminate the news of robotics development.

Sea level measurement devices for everyone

Prof. Francis C.M. LauPrincipal Investigator: Prof. Francis C.M. LauDepartment of Computer Science )
Telephone: 2859-2170

Project Objectives:

A warming climate can cause seawater to expand and ice over land to melt, both of which can cause a rise in sea level. Increasing the awareness of the general public about sea level and storm surge are therefore getting more important in recent years. Today’s youth will live into the second half of this century and experience the increasing impacts of global warming, teaching students to construct a low-cost sea level measurement device using a computer and sensors or web-cams could be one of the ways to increase their awareness. The objectives of the project include:

  • To foster target students’ and public’s interest in meteorological computing;
  • To engage participants in an Engineering project led by HKU;
  • To show the practical side of interdisciplinary research;
  • To encourage young people to learn more about engineering, weather and climate, and extend them to contribute to action against climate change.

HKU Computer Science and HKO started working on a number of collaborative research projects on meteorological computing since 2002, and have rich experience in analyzing meteorological data and designing methods for meteorological instrumentation. Together with the experience in organizing competitions with HKO and HKMetSoc, it is hoped that knowledge exchange can be done effectively to the general public, especially the youth. Coincidentally, the theme of the WMO World Meteorological Day 2014-2015 is “Weather and Climate: engaging youth”. If funded, the competition will be one of the events of this worldwide event, hence getting the awareness worldwide.

By bringing the topic on “sea level” to the general public, it is also hoped that the proposed project can have continuing impact after the competition, especially delivering the message on the impacts on global warming.

Project Description:

Through organization of a competition and workshops, the project aims at encouraging the primary and secondary school students and teachers, and the public in general, to learn more about engineering, weather and climate change by designing sea level measurement devices at minimal cost.

Target Deliverables in 2014/15:

  1. Organization of a Sea Level Measurement Device Design Competition.
  2. A website for disseminating information related to sea level measurement methods and the competition;
  3. Handouts of the talk on sea level and its measurement methods, and its relationship with storm surge and global warming;
  4. Workshop materials of programming and computer analysis of sensor data;
  5. Workshop materials of basic sensor integration design;
  6. Link of the site from HKU Engineering Knowledge Exchange Portal;
  7. Link of the site from collaborating parties (HKO, HKMetSoc);
  8. Media coverage of the competition and the Knowledge Exchange outcome.

Learning maths and computer in HKU with e-textbook

Dr. Wilton Fok Principal Investigator: Dr. Wilton FokDepartment of Electrical and Electronic Engineerin )
Telephone: 2857-8490

Project Objectives:

  • To disseminate the knowledge on mathematics and computer literacy to junior students and strengthening their foundations through e-textbook;
  • To promote social inclusion for less privileged students to access the latest e-learning and e-textbook technology and break the digital divide;
  • To develop a community-based social educational development model by university students and staff through the use of e-learning and e-textbook.

Project Description:

The e-Learning Development Laboratory of the Department of Electrical and Electronic is developing a set of e-textbook in mathematics and computer for the Education Bureau to share our knowledge on mathematics and computer with students, teachers and parents in Hong Kong.

Around 100 under-privileged junior students (the participants) will be invited to attend free tutorial classes during the X’mas and Easter holiday breaks. The e-textbook will be used as the teaching materials and each participating students will be given a free account to use the e-textbook.

Some HKU students will be hired to help in this project. They will help to teach the participants, organize activities, demonstrate the use of e-textbook and play the role as ambassadors for the campus visit. This project could also create internship opportunities for our students to learn how to be a teacher.

The participants can continue to use the e-textbook after the project period to create continuous and sustainable impacts. An opening ceremony will be organized for raising public awareness. Parents of the participants will be invited to the graduation ceremony for sharing the joy and visit the HKU campus.

Target Deliverables in 2014/15:

  1. A total of 100 students form the under-privileged families to attend a series of:
  2. Two closing (graduation) ceremony in December 2014 and April 2015 respectively, with parents and teachers involvement;
  3. Printer copies of teaching materials;
  4. A project web-site;
  5. A video on Youtube and the project web-site to promote the project;
  6. Souvenirs for the participants and guests attending the kick-off and closing ceremonies.